You are sitting at home, watching television after eating dinner. During commercial breaks, I bet you can lose count of how many times you see a commercial dealing with weight loss and dieting.

I also bet you can see women and men in the media who look super skinny and you say to yourself, “I wish my body looked like that.” Women and men in today’s society are dieting and losing weight, but how much is too much?

According to www.anad.org, the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders website, more than 24 million people suffer from eating disorders in the United States alone. Eating disorders include anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. Men and women are both affected by eating disorders every day, and that includes college students.

91 percent of women, who are currently in college, have admitted to dieting or watching their weight. 25 percent of college women have had an eating disorder at some point. What is even more shocking is 95 percent of all those who have eating disorders are between the ages of 12 and 26.

According to the www.anad.org, Men make up 15 percent of all eating disorder cases . I think the media is playing a detrimental role in the spread of eating disorders and extreme dieting because skinny women and men is all we see. Sure there are a few shows that include “plus-size” actors and actresses or those who are at their healthy weight but the majority of them aren’t.

69 percent of women have said images in magazines have altered their perception of what the perfect body is supposed to be, and almost half of those women will lose weight because of those images according to www.anad.org.

Now I’m not saying all dieting and all weight loss is bad, because it can be healthy in certain circumstances, but statistics say most college students don’t lost weight to be healthier. Eating disorders will take the lives of 5.2 percent of all those who have them. It may not seem like a high percentage but when 24 million Americans suffer from an eating disorder, 5.2 percent is a lot.

I think society needs to become more socially accepting of all different body types and embrace everyone.
No body type is the same. We are all different, and pressuring women and men to be skinner in an unhealthy manner is wrong can have serious consequences.

-Emma Fradette

ekfradette@txwes.edu